Essex lorry deaths: 39 found dead were Chinese nationals

Essex lorry deaths: 39 found dead were Chinese nationals

Agency News

British Police have confirmed on Thursday that the 39 people who were found dead in a refrigerated trailer in Essex were Chinese nationals.

Police are continuing to question lorry driver Mo Robinson, 25, on suspicion of murdering the eight women and 31 men, says a BBC report. Police said the truck container was recently arrived in the UK from from Zeebrugge in Belgium. "Each of the 39 people must undergo a full coroner’s process to establish a cause of death before we move on to attempting to identify each individual within the trailer," police said in a statement.

Officials added that 31 were men and eight women. All were thought to have been adults, police added. Police earlier said a teenager was among the dead. Officers in Northern Ireland have raided three properties and the National Crime Agency said it was working to identify "organised crime groups who may have played a part".

Police said the trailer had arrived at docks in Essex, southern England, having traveled from Zeebrugge in Belgium and the bodies were found just over an hour later at 1:40 a.m.

The lorry and trailer left the port at Purfleet shortly after 01:05am. Police said the tractor unit - the front part of the lorry - entered the country via Holyhead in Wales on Sunday, having travelled from Dublin.